New Year's Resolutions/Goals:
1. Become a better friend
2. Eat healthier
3. Stretch every day
4. Read more often
5. Worry less about money
6. Watch every episode of The Office
7. Write another full-length play
8. Learn more about teas
9. Play harmonica like a pro
10. Expand my Michael Jackson album collection
11. Fly on a plane
12. Discover a new food I love
13. Keep her unconditional love in my heart, in 2013 and always:
BREAKING NEWS: KRYSTA AND KAYLA PONGRAC REUNITED ON DEC. 23, 2012, TO RECORD THEIR NEW ALBUM! HERE IS AN EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW OF THE FIRST TRACK APPEARING ON THE UP-AND-COMING LP!
DISCLAIMER: EXPLICIT CONTENT. HOLY SHIT.
I was sitting in my favorite coffee shop last Monday, drinking chai tea and working on a grant when an older fellow was preparing to exit the shop with some coffee in hand. All of a sudden, he stopped in his tracks and looked at me.
"What's that little thing you have there?" he asked.
"Oh. They call this a netbook," I said. "It's basically a mini computer."
"Cool," he replied. "What are you drinking?"
"Me? Oh, chai tea. The best chai I've ever had, really. I love this place."
He pointed at the sugar packets hanging out near my cup.
"I can't believe you're consuming that stuff," he said. "Splenda is so bad for you. I'm allergic to it."
"It's funny you say that because every time I order my chai tea, I'm never sure what brand of sugar to sweeten it with."
"Well, I wouldn't recommend that. When I drink it, my vision gets real blurry."
"I'm sorry to hear that. What kind of sugar do you recommend?"
"Go with the cane sugar," he said. "You're too young to screw up your body with all that artificial stuff."
"Cool. Thanks for the advice. I'll get the cane sugar next time."
I expected him to say his goodbyes and walk out, but instead he shifted his coffee from one hand to the other and leaned up against the wall.
"So, are you a writer or something?"
"I am," I said. "Right now I'm writing a grant for my workplace, but in addition to that job, I also write for two newspapers and a few magazines."
"Is that right? That's good, you see."
"It is. I like it. I've been writing for a long time . . . I mean, a lot of writing for what seems to be a long time . . . and I figure that as long as I continue to love it, I'm just fine."
He moved from the wall to the couch, conveniently located right across from me.
"Are you familiar with Susan B. Anthony?"
I kind of lied. She's the one I always mistake for Rachel Carson.
"Well, Susan B. Anthony worked really hard for women's rights. If it weren't for her, you would probably have as many rights as that computer on your lap."
He pulled a coin from his pocket.
"Susan B. Anthony is one of two females who appears on United States currency. See this coin? I used to collect these, you know. When my mother turned 90, I gave her 90 Susan B. Anthony coins."
Then--and I certainly didn't expect this--he handed me the one in his hand.
"Here. My mom passed away so now she doesn't mind me passing them on to other women."
He laughed. I smiled.
I placed the coin in the palm of my hand and examined it. I loved the shape, all the little edges.
"Thanks," I said. "This is really nice of you. Are you sure you want me to have it?"
"I want you to have it and I want you to remember that you can go anywhere with your career. Don't let anybody stop you."
"See? All you had to do was sit and listen to an old guy talk for 10 minutes of your time and now you have a coin in your hand worth about $10. Do whatever you want with it. You're a big girl. Listen, it was nice talking to you."
And then he left. I didn't even get his name.
But I'm keeping his coin.
I once read a newspaper article about a couple who hiked the entire Appalachian trail (the article can be accessed below) and became intrigued by the thought of completing it myself.
I could picture myself quitting my job, finding a hiking partner, and taking on that very challenge. But this challenge? This challenge? No way, Jose.
Did you look at that link? If you didn’t, you should stop messin’ around and give your eyeballs a little thrill. Besides, you kinda have to look at it before reading the rest of this post.
(I’ll pause for a moment, just in case you need to look at it for really real reals or if you want to look at it again.)
Okay. So. You looked at the link. Good. Thank you.
Apparently this trek is considered the most dangerous in the world. You have to climb steep trails, stairs, ladders . . . and if you fall, you’re dead. The reward—if indeed you survive the journey—is a magnificent view of the five peaks of Mount Hua.
Awesome, right? Hence the reason I turned my computer screen toward my co-worker’s desk this morning and told her to have a look at some of the photos.
“That’s all fine and dandy,” she said, “but what the hell happens when you get there? How do you get back? Helicopter?”
Crap. I hadn’t thought about that. I just thought that if you made it, well, hooray for you! But if you go up, you’ve gotta come back down . . . oh man!
Oh man, oh man, oh man. God bless those who have made it. What an incredible feat. What reliable feet.
In the fall of 2005 or sometime thereabouts, Krysta and Kayla Pongrac put their voices together in Kayla’s basement to create a Christmas album that was once described by an anonymous critic as “timeless.” The album, “Krysta and Kayla’s Christmas Album,” became an underground hit, receiving numerous accolades from high school classmates, teachers, family members and friends. The album is now available in its entirety here--nearly eight years later--for your listening pleasure. Merry Christmas, thumbsuckers!
Reproduction or distribution of this video is strictly prohibited. Oh boy!
The men, they're sitting here with cigars hanging off the corners of their lips, and the women, well, I get a sense that they are running their germy hands up their husbands' legs. Everyone here is older than me, but I don't mind. I'm a people watcher--a big-time people watcher who can't help but watch the guy across the bar talk with his hands to a lady who is flicking cigarettes in hers. One man just got done joking that he has "a nice ass." Yeah. . . ummm . . . okay.
It smells like smoke in here. It's your typical bar, I guess. This must mean that I'll get hit on soon. Or maybe not. I don't want to sound pretentious. I hate that word anyway; I would never want to define it.
Also, I have to admit something. I'm at a VFW. Drinks are cheap--$1.50 for a mixed. And $1.50 for a soft cheese pretzel . . . yum. My pap belongs here. He used to run the place and had a fancy commander title in front of his name. "From 1985 to 1991," he told me. He's pretty proud of having a part in the place, even now, at 86-years-old. I was looking at his eyelashes tonight, how they curl downward at such an admirable angle. Hopefully my eyelashes will take after his in 60-some decades.
I'm about to take another sip of my drink and get out of here in order to watch the 12/12/12 benefit concert featuring Bruce Springsteen, Roger Waters, Paul McCartney, etc. tonight. I hope I can share a drink with my pap again soon. Until then, cheers to this date. It won't happen for another 100 years.
I don't think I'll be around by then, and even the optimist within me just might be okay with that.
Fiction, poetry, and all that good stuff . . .